SOCCER: GLOBAL OUTLOOK
I am disappointed because you fail to recognize soccer as the world's most popular sport. How about some information on the status of college and professional soccer in the U.S. and all over the globe?
?In virtually every nation but the U.S. the word football means not football but soccer, the world's No. 1 spectator sport. In South America, Europe and Asia, crowds of 100,000 and more are common at the big "football" games. In the U.S., however, although booming in preparatory schools and colleges, soccer has not been an important spectator sport since the 1920s.
Last week U.S. soccer fans got reason to hope, at least, for a brighter future, with the announcement by William D. Cox that big-time professional soccer may be on its way back.
Cox, who was president of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1943 and head of the Brooklyn football Dodgers in 1945, has organized an international soccer league which will include top teams from England, Scotland, Ireland, West Germany, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, France, Italy and possibly Spain and one or two South American countries. A split season will be played at the 22,000-seat Downing Stadium on Randalls Island in New York City, with a New York entry participating in each half of the season against five foreign teams. The schedule will begin in May after the visiting teams have completed their regular schedules at home.
If the new league succeeds the time may yet come when the word soccer will truly mean what football means throughout the world.—ED.
FITNESS: SURVIVAL WITH DIGNITY
While the U.S.'s youth grows softer, weaker, fatter, lazier and older the President's Youth Fitness Council discusses "fitness for what?" (SI, Oct. 26).
What American youth needs is physical exercise to counteract the immorality that has been imposed on it by mechanization, and to build a body fit to live in. The only way a good "temple of the spirit" can be built is through required strenuous physical activity based on physiological need.
The council asks about our youth, "Fitness for what?" I say, "Fit to survive—and hurry!"
Mrs. T. S. SCHULTZENHEIMER
Your Fitness for What? article is as superficial as your general view of sports, with the exception of boxing. It seems that only blatant corruption of a game merits your attention.
Surely you must be aware that under our present rules of society, human values rate last, that the drive for security and status overwhelms most of us.